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25 July 1:07 pm

The rumored deal that was set to send Seattle Sounders Designated Player Álvaro Fernández to Colombian side Deportivo Cali has fallen through.

That's the news according to this report in Colombian daily El Pais, which now claims that the club is looking elsewhere for attacking help.

Fernández addressed the situation only yesterday with the Seattle Times in this blog post.

25 July 12:53 pm

When it's splashed all over the cover of Spanish sports daily Marca, we've got to take notice.

Here's what the headline says: "Red Bull gives Kaká wings" (thus the photo).

The rest of it: "The team from New York wants the Brazilian. The player appeals to the US league. ... But it would pay half [his salary]. Yesterday he didn't travel to Oviedo with Madrid. Saturday is d-day."

On Saturday, the Red Bulls also play in Montreal (7 pm ET, MLS LIVE).

25 July 12:26 pm

How often can you call an All-Star Game historic? Ground-breaking? Or even revolutionary?

Well, the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game will classify as all of the above, no matter who wins the match or whether or not a goal is even scored.

Unless you've been under a rock these last few weeks, you've likely heard about the Smart Soccer revolution that's being pioneered by adidas through their miCoach technology. 

It's science fiction meets soccer: The players are wearing devices that track details of their movements and their overall performance like it's never been seen before. All in real-time. Who's covering more ground? Who's the fastest player on the field? Who's working hardest?

Wednesday's match is the first-ever "Smart Soccer" match and fans at home will be able to experience it for themselves by following along on the adidas Facebook page (click here during the match).

Below is a sneak peek of what the data will look like. It's just a preview of what is to come next year when MLS becomes the world's first "smart league" with every game tracked this way.

25 July 12:09 pm

On vient de dépasser la mi-saison et j’avais envie de voir à quel point les équipes en étaient par rapport au même stade l’an dernier. Le calendrier de la MLS étant ce qu’il est, j’ai d’abord réalisé un classement des 18 premières rencontres de chaque club (qui permet au passage de relativiser le classement actuel). Ensuite, je l’ai comparé avec le classement de leurs 18 premiers duels l’an dernier pour voir leurs progressions / régressions respectives. Même s’il faut prendre ces tableaux avec des pincettes, notamment en raison du déséquilibre entre les matchs joués à domicile et à l’extérieur, ils n’en demeurent pas moins des indicateurs très intéressants. À vous d’en tirer vos propres conclusions… N’hésitez pas à les partager !

CLASSEMENT 2012 APRÈS 18 MATCHS
    J Pts
1. San José 18 36
2. DC United 18 33
. Kansas City 18 33
4. Salt Lake 18 32
5. New York 18 31
6. Vancouver 18 30
7. Chicago 18 28
8. Seattle 18 27
9. Columbus 18 25
. Houston 18 25
11. Chivas USA 18 23
12. Colorado 18 22
. New England 18 22
14. LA Galaxy 18 20
. Philadelphie 18 20
16. Portland 18 19
17. Montréal 18 18
18. Dallas 18 15
19. Toronto 18 13
COMPARAISON 2012 / 2011 APRÈS 18 MATCHS
    J 2012 2011 Diff.
1. Vancouver 18 30 14 +16
2. San José 18 36 22 +14
3. Kansas City 18 33 22 +11
4. DC United 18 33 23 +10
5. Chicago 18 28 18 +10
6. New England 18 22 16 +6
7. New York 18 31 25 +6
8. Houston 18 25 20 +5
9. Chivas USA 18 23 21 +2
10. Salt Lake 18 32 31 +1
11. Seattle 18 27 28 -1
12. Colorado 18 22 23 -1
13. Columbus 18 25 27 -2
14. Portland 18 19 21 -2
15. Toronto 18 13 15 -2
16. Philadelphie 18 20 28 -8
17. LA Galaxy 18 20 34 -14
18. Dallas 18 15 34 -19
 
25 July 11:32 am

PHILADELPHIA – Frank Lampard must have known this was coming.

Since appearing in a suite at The Home Depot Center alongside David Beckham a few weeks ago, the speculation about a possible move to the LA Galaxy has only heated up. And he can’t dodge the questions now, not with Chelsea on a two-week tour of the United States and American journalists only too happy to keep seeking clues.

Lampard keeps playing diplomat, of course, repeating that he’s under contract with Chelsea and happy with the European champions. But the England international did get a laugh in Tuesday’s press conference when asked if he’d like to play alongside his former captain in LA.

“I think that he might not want me, I don’t know,” Lampard said to laughs.

Galaxy fans can take heart in that he didn’t close the door on a future move if his services were deemed surplus to Chelsea.

“I’m waiting to speak to Chelsea [about a new contract] and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

WATCH: Chelsea's Lampard, Di Matteo laud evolution of MLS

25 July 9:24 am

This is your chance to win a signed 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game jersey!  

All-Star jersey

During the broadcast on ESPN2 - Wed. July 25, at 8:30PM ET - we'll be testing your TV tune-in skills. Follow @MLS on Twitter and answer #MLSAllStar trivia questions during the broadcast.  Be one of the first 25 people to tweet an eligible reply and you'll be entered into a drawing to win.  

Replies must include @MLS, the hashtag #MLSAllStar, and the correct answer. You must also follow @MLS on Twitter.  One winner per question will be randomly selected and notified by direct message. He/she must respond with a valid email address within 30 minutes of being notified to win, otherwise a new winner will be selected.  

Official Social Media Giveaway Rules apply: http://www.mlssoccer.com/fans/social-media-giveaway-rules.

24 July 4:54 pm

It's the evening before the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, and the meetings, trainings, press conferences and pre-parties are in full force here in Philadelphia. Here are just a few of the highlights, courtesy of @MLS_Insider

Tuesday began like most days for the guys, with a little morning kickaround. The setting? PPL Park, which looked plenty spiffy ahead of its big night on ESPN2. 

As announced by MLS and the Union early this morning, there was a new face out and about for the All-Stars. Welcome to the show, Mr. Michael Farfan. Same stadium, just a few new teammates and some minor opposition to deal with tomorrow night.

Training concluded with some finishing, which left goalkeeper Dan Kennedy in a pretty tough spot as Jimmy Nielsen iced down off to the side. Kennedy's thoughts after being peppered for 15 straight minutes? This is the toughest session I've had all year.

From PPL, the travelling media contingent (along with Olsen, Donovan, DeRo and Henry) cruised to the Independence Visitors Center for the official pre-match press conference in conjunction with Chelsea.

Two different vibes. Di Matteo, Lampard and Mikel spoke sternly, while the mood lightened considerably once the MLS crew entered the room. Everyone was all smiles for the photo opp next to the Giant Ball, except for Landon Donovan, who looked more like he was ready to enter tomorrow's match than pose for pictures.

The players aren't the only ones busting their humps this week. The media are putting in ridiculous hours giving this match the attention it deserves. It's a massive occasion, and massive occasions typically call for podcasts featuring Alexi Lalas.

With the prematch pleasantries out of the way and the hype of tomorrow's match in full effect, it's time for everyone in attendance this week to unwind a little as the red carpet gets rolled out at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Walking around the hotel this evening, we caught a glimpse of the belle of the ball....

Jimmy's ready, and so are we. Should be a fun night out in Philly.

24 July 3:05 pm

PHILADELPHIA –– It doesn't get much more prestigious than Manchester United and Chelsea in back-to-back years, but that doesn't mean the MLS All-Stars don't have an opinion about who they'd like to take on come 2013.

Asked to provide their ideal opponent for next year's game during Tuesday's press conference ahead of Wednesday night's AT&T MLS All-Star game (8:30 pm ET, ESPN2), Landon Donovan, Dwayne De Rosario, Thierry Henry and coach Ben Olsen all went in different directions.

Olsen kicked things off with an uncoventional choice, drawing laughter from those in attendance as he chose his own side, D.C. United.

De Rosario, for his part, didn't talk specifics, saying that he'd simply be happy playing the reigning European Champions each year, an idea which happened to work out for this year's event.

Donovan, meanwhile, pulled at purist's heartstrings, putting his support behind tiki taka and Barcelona, while Henry couldn't resist the opportunity to get Arsenal's name out there as a potential opponent.

What do you think? Make your opinion known in the poll below.

24 July 2:35 pm

 Cette semaine, votre Coup Franc hebdomadaire (à écouter ici) est, à votre demande, plus long de quelques minutes afin d’approfondir certains sujets. Au menu :
- Notre invité Sébastien Le Toux parle de son transfert inattendu à New York, de son rôle dans sa nouvelle équipe et de la liberté qu’il y reçoit, de la situation de ses deux anciens clubs (Vancouver et Philadelphie, où il est parti en mauvais termes avec Peter Nowak), ainsi que de la possible suite de sa carrière en Europe.
- Débat sur l’évolution de la MLS au cours des dernières années. Quels sont les principaux progrès qu’elle a effectués ? Quels sont les avantages et les inconvénients du plafond salarial ? À quel championnat étranger peut-on la comparer (voir le classement de l’IFFHS) ? Quel est l’apport des anciens joueurs aujourd’hui entraîneurs ? Comment la MLS peut-elle conserver ses vedettes, de plus en plus convoitées à l’étranger ? Grâce à quoi fera-t-elle son prochain grand pas en avant ?
- Vancouver se sépare d’Eric Hassli (voir le geste des supporters en son honneur) mais Martin Rennie gagne pour le moment son pari suite à la victoire contre San José (revoir le penalty aussi controversé que décisif).
- Revoyez aussi le troisième but de Houston contre Montréal, image de la semaine d’Antonio Ribeiro.

Des discussions hautes en couleurs auxquelles nous vous invitons à participer en ligne, que ce soit par courriel (coup.franc@MLSsoccer.com) ou sur Twitter (@CoupFrancMLS).

L'émission Coup Franc est aussi disponible sur iTunes.

24 July 9:47 am

The champs are here.

While the bulk of the MLS All-Star squad arrived in Philly on Sunday, Monday was the day for Chelsea Football Club to begin preparations for Wednesday's match. We spent some time with the reigning Champions League winners, fun pictures below.

If Florent Malouda wasn't going to get enough attention stepping into the lobby, his socks certainly made sure he drew a crowd. Probably didn't matter either way, as there were plenty of waiting fans who were surely tipped off on where Florent and his teammates were posted up.

Following an afternoon of R&R, the time had come for Chelsea to finally get down to business in Philadelphia. The All-Stars trained Monday morning at NovaCare in serious heat and humidity, but Roberto Di Matteo's troops were afforded what was surely some much-appreciated relief from the sun for their evening training.

Cloud cover and a light drizzle persisted throughout, prompting a fair few jokes about London/Seattle from players and staff alike. Still, despite the rain, sporting director Michael Emenalo was kind enough to take a large chunk of time speaking both about Chelsea as well as his time in MLS.

Fun fact: Emenalo was on the field when this happened, all the way back in the beginning.